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Christmas Accidents

1000 people receive injuries from their Christmas tree

Careful of the Christmas, danger in your lurking in your lounge room and that fridge too

Just when you thought I had survived all my over indulgences this festive season I read that in a British NHS Choices report about keeping safe at Christmas, that every year in the UK about 1000 people receive injuries from their Christmas tree.

Well I thought, maybe it is just a British thing but in the United States 240 house fires start each year when a Christmas tree catches alight. Look on utube, there are a number of really frightening videos which will show you how fast a Christmas tree can be engulfed in fire and burn.

Again in Britain about 350 people a year are hurt by Christmas tree lights mainly while they putting up their lights, getting burns or electric shocks from bulbs or faulty lights and children swallowing bulbs

You are 50% more likely to die in a house fire during Christmas than at any other time of year. While smoking and drinking are risk factors, candles accounted for about 1,400 fires in houses, killing 18 people and injuring over 500 other people according to statistics in 2008.

Danger lurking in the Fridge

And just when I thought the fridge was safe, 2010 and 2011 figures by the ONS say there were 30 deaths a year in England and Wales caused by food poisoning. 1 in 5 people there risk food poisoning by eating old turkey left overs, thank goodness for the Aussie BBQ in our summer. Even though more food poisoning occurs in summer in the UK, there is a spike at Christmas that maybe due to the fact that 80% of people wash their turkeys before cooking them which apparently significantly increases the risk of spreading germs to kitchen surfaces.

I can here, the kids now, “ow dad not microbes again this Christmas”. Soon they will be missing the years of jocks and socks.

The number of accidents rises significantly at this time of year as people break with their routine. So maybe a first aid course, some refresher training in first aid, CPR or how to manage the minor Christmas falls and spills might not be such a bad idea.

Learn First Aid

All I want for Christmas is a first aid course

Knowledge of  the important or vital first aid skills, a well-stocked first aid kit would make a great Christmas gift or a ChildcareCPR or first aid course voucher under that watered down Christmas tree might not be on the Christmas list of many of us, but statistics show it may well come in handy long after the batteries have died in the kids toys and the Boxing Day cricket test is just a dim memory.


Craig Nolan is an educator and manager with overall responsibility for the implementation of the International Paramedic College Group’s training, strategy, initiatives and expansion. Craig is a former Intensive Care Paramedic and Educator with The Ambulance Service of NSW and he is an active Committee member of Paramedics Australasia, the peak body for Paramedics in Australia and New Zealand.